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tv   First Look  MSNBC  March 17, 2011 5:00am-5:30am EDT

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fukushima daiichi plant. we now continue with ed schultz. good night. the u.s. military has delivered high-pressure water pumps to the fukushima daiichi plant. high alert. the u.s. authorizes american evacuations out of japan as nuclear meltdown fears grow. line of fire. security cameras capture a dramatic shootout at a tennessee convenience store. and space odyssey. astronauts unveil the international space station's newest resident. good morning, everyone. i'm lynn berry. those stories and more are straight ahead. this is "first look" on msnbc.
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we begin this morning with exit strategy. as japan's nuclear crisis deepens, and reports about the status of one of its crippled nuclear plants differ, the united states has authorized the first evacuations of americans out of japan. nbc's tracie potts joins us from washington with the very latest on this. good morning to you. >> reporter: lynn, good morning. good morning, everyone. we learned overnight these will be voluntary evacuations even though the airports have opened, commercial flights are available. the u.s. state department will now be organizing charter flights out of tokyo and other locations in japan to get americans out. the u.s. believes that the radiation levels, especially around the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant, are extremely high. in addition, they have told americans to stay 50 miles away, much further than the japanese recommend. this is conflicting advice, but the white house says the u.s. is using a different standard of
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evaluating the information that they're getting. now at the plant, the u.s. is concerned the nuclear regulatory commission chair told congress they believe there is no water left in pool four, the japanese deny that. that would mean there is nothing to stop a meltdown. helicopters are now dropping water on the plant. the international atomic energy agency believes temperatures are rising there. president obama called japan's prime minister to pledge his continued support. lynn? >> tracie potts, thanks so much. work is said to be close to completion on a replacement power line that could restart cooling systems for fukushima nuclear reactors that were destroyed during friday's twin disasters. at the same time, japan's military is trying to keep that number four reactor cool, dropping sea water from above, hoping to prevent a meltdown. nbc's lester holt reports. >> reporter: there are concerns about a possible breach in the containment vessel at reactor three.
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a confirmed breach in reactor two is already leaking radiation. and there are new fears that the all important water cooling the still highly radioactive spent fuel rods at reactor four is dangerously low. workers were temporarily evacuated during the night and a water drop by helicopter was aborted after radiation levels briefly surged. but the public no longer knows what to believe. 77-year-old emperor akihito made a tv address. i'm deeply concerned about the nuclear situation because it is so unpredictable, he said. these enormous lines in sendai are people waiting for one bus out of town. back in the disaster zone, snow and coal have brought rescue efforts but hope has not been abandoned. uk rescue teams search a home after family members believe they hear a voice. >> chances are small, but we'll do our best to see if we can get
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anybody in there. >> reporter: after dogs and teams go in, only a body comes out. >> that was nbc's lester holt reporting from tokyo. although it has been increasingly overshowered by this mounting nuclear crisis, rescue workers in japan are also facing a monumental and increasingly desperate task. right now, nearly 5200 people are officially listed as dead from the country's earthquake and tsunami. but authorities expect that figure to rise well over 10,000. more than 450,000 people are currently living in temporary shelters and millions more are struggling with shortages for water, food, medicine and electricity. adding to the growing list of problems, relief efforts are also being hampered by freezing temperatures, heavy snow and rain. back here at home, japan's nuclear crisis raised questions about revived nuclear power plants here in the u.s. and last night msnbc's jane youker asked house energy and
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commerce committee member ed markey, a democrat from massachusetts, how he thinks the disaster in japan will impact those plants. >> after fukushima, it is important to just step back. the republicans, you know what they did in the house of representatives just three weeks ago? they continued all of the loan guarantees for the nuclear industry in the bill they passed, the budget they passed and cut out all of the loan guarantees for wind and solar and all the renewables. what kind of upside down policy is that that the republicans just passed out of the house of representatives, just three weeks ago? in fact, after fukushima, it should just be the opposite because there might be a nuclear power plant that kind of stumbles across the finish line in 10 or 12 years. but by then we'll have 100 to 125,000 new megawatts of wind and solar. we have 40,000 now. and i just think this is going to accelerate the trend with natural gas, which emits only half of the pollution of coal-fired plants. i think that nuclear power has
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now met its maker in the marketplace. it is not protesters, it is investors that are now going to render their verdict on this technology. >> you can catch him week nights at 6:00 p.m. right here on msnbc, the place for politics. here is your first look at some of the other news going on around america today. in tennessee, a robbery attempt ended up looking more like a shootout at the ok corral. the store owner wrestled with the suspects before pulling his own gun and firing ten shots. the suspects returned fire but quickly retreated. this was the fourth robbery attempt the store owner has faced. police are still searching for the two suspects. in california, a 40 foot section of highway gave way creating a huge headache for drivers in the area. officials believe pieces of the roadway had been breaking off most of the day before the majority of it fell into the pacific ocean. a lengthy repair job is expected to keep that section of highway 1 closed for several days.
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and finally, to south carolina where one nonprofit organization is heading to the front lines of japan's water crisis. of course in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami disaster, 1.5 million people are without water. the charleston-based group is responding to the country's needs by sending personnel and 10 to 14 water purification systems. now for a look at the national weather, we turn to bill karins with the weather channel forecast. bill, good morning. >> good morning to you, lynn. once again, let's start in japan and talk about the winds there. thankfully they're continuing to be favorable for any contamination. the winds have been blowing offshore to the northwest. storm system moved through and these are winds that are cool, and those are breezy too. that's good. it has been taking whatever is leaking and pushing it out to sea. that trend is going to continue during the day today. tokyo to the south and sendai area is to the north there. as far as the temperatures,
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still cool today, but on saturday and sunday, should warm up a little bit. that's good for the half a million homeless people after the tsunami. but the winds do shift a little bit on shore as we go through sunday. that looks like the first chance of any contamination going back over land. so hopefully they got two or three days to get things under control hopefully. yesterday, back home here in the states, what a day. we were into the 80s through texas. 74, record high in denver. kansas city was gorgeous. and now that warm air is going to spread. it is going to be warm today from kansas city to st. louis, through the ohio valley, and eventually all that warm air arriving for the east coast. what a great end to winter, what a fabulous st. paddy's day this is going to be. with the warm air in the middle of the country, the only trouble spots, rain on the cold front through minnesota and the dakotas and cloudy weather here, unsettled conditions through the intermountain west. that's about it. it is a really nice day today. look at dallas, 82 degrees. kansas city, 78 with an outside shot at hitting 80 degrees.
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same for you there in st. louis. chicago should be fantastic for your parade. 65. maybe wearing shorts. d.c. to philly to new york, even boston, low 50s, that will feel nice compared to how chilly it was the last couple of days. florida today, temperatures near 80. then on friday, we topple off what is going to be a perfect end to winter, temperature near 70 in new york city. we cool it off in the middle of the country. lynn, i guess this is our reward for what was just a brutal winter, nice little tranquil end to it. >> it was well earned. all right, bill, thanks so much. stocks tumbled, prices surge and the most expensive dog in the world. your first look at this morning's business headlines is straight ahead. coming up, the heat of thunder struck. the president makes his final four picks and one nfl star is switching sports. you're watching "first look" on msnbc.
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welcome back to "first look." i'm lynn berry. here are some of the top stories making news this morning.
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the united nations security council is planning to vote later today on a draft resolution that would impose a no fly zone over libya and authorize air strikes against moammar gadhafi's forces. the move comes as rebels struggle to hold on to a strategic eastern city near their stronghold of benghazi. secretary of state hillary clinton says she does not want to serve a second term if president obama is re-elected next year. in an interview in cairo yesterday, clinton also said she has no interest in other posts such as vice president or defense secretary and that she does not plan on mounting another bid for the white house. pakistan has freed cia contractor raymond davis after nearly seven weeks since he's killed two pakistani men in what he claims was self-defense. davis' release came after the victims' families were paid more than $2 million, which some describe as compensation for their loss. but others claim it is a payment in return for the families
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pardon ing davis. southwest airlines is apologizing to a muslim woman pulled off a recent flight because a flight attendant thought she heard her say into her cell phone, it's a go, but she said i have to go because the plane is taking off. tomorrow william will head to australia to visit flood damaged areas. the first humanoid robot in space is out of its box. two weeks after its arrival to the international space station, astronauts unveiled robonot 2, r-2. it is not a full member of the crew yet. nasa needs to run some tests and there is that little matter of its missing lower half, his legs should arrive sometime next year. that will come in handy. now here is your first look at how wall street will kick off the day. the dow opens at 11,613 after
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plunging 242 points yesterday. the s&p dropped 24 points. the nasdaq fell 50. taking a look at overseas trading this morning, in tokyo, the nikkei was down 131 points. while in hong kong, the hang seng tumbled 416. now whether the effects of japan's nuclear crisis reaches american shores, the financial effects have already struck wall street. by wednesday's closing bell, the year's impressive gains on the s&p 500 and the nasdaq had been entirely wiped out. the year's most heavily traded session also left the dow close to even for 2011. all 30 dow stocks fell and all 10 company groupings on the s&p 500, the basis for most u.s. mutual funds, lost ground. wall street's so-called fear index is up over 46% this week. fear drove investors to safer assets like bonds. treasury prices jumped while the yield on the ten-year note briefly fell to the lowest level this year. and the bad news wednesday was not limited to japan.
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in february, new home starts posted their biggest drop in 27 years and permits for future building reached a record low. now, a day after reassurance from the fed that it expected inflation pressures to subside, february's producer prices showed the biggest surge in the last year and a half. food prices saw their biggest increase since 1974. jitters hit currency markets as well. wednesday, the japanese yen hit its highest level against the dollar since world war ii. just how bad of a day was it? a rare brokerage downgrade sent apple sliding for a second straight day, down a whopping 4.5% or about $14 billion in value. so you want something to smile about? this may be it. a chinese dog known as big splash has certainly lived up his name. look at that. he's a red tibetan mastiff and he's become the world's most expensive dog, sold in china for
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close to $1.5 million. in health news this morning, a government spokeswoman tuesday said that the obama administration will study distribution policies for a drug to protect against the effects of radiation as a part of a review of the implications of japan's ongoing nuclear disaster. the new review would reopen a debate sought by safety activists who had called for a greater stockpile of potassium iodide near u.s. nuclear plants. for more information than and other health stories, you can check out the health page at msnbc.com. ochocinco tries a different kind of football. more march madness play-ins. and how does your bracket stack up against the president's? plus, dwyane wade tries to help the heat rise above the thunder. your first look at sports is straight ahead. you're watching "first look" on msnbc. well, i'm an avid catamaran sailor. i can my own homemade jam, apricot.
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depend® colors for women. looks and fits like underwear. protects like nothing else. depend®. good morning. great day. welcome back to "first look." i'm lynn berry. in sports, today is the day all you college basketball fans have been waiting for. the beginning of the ncaa tournament. here is fred roggin. >> good thursday morning. the field now officially set for the ncaa tournament after the final two play in games last night. we go to dayton, ohio, virginia commonwealth. too much for usc. they outhustled and outplayed the trojans. the rams opened things up in the second. went on to win it by 13 and they play georgetown tomorrow.
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ohio state will take on texas san antonio. they proved they belonged in the tourney with a win over alabama state. the buckeyes need a game plan to stop marcus johnson with a career high 29. road runners advanced. president obama made his tournament picks. he has all four number one seeds in the final four. so much for change. nba, the dunk of the night by dwyane wade. the two-handed jam, that was all the miami nafans had to cheer about. the heat fell apart in the second half and last night was no different. the thunder beat the heat 96-85. magic and bucks needed overtime. magic won it 93-89. forget about the knicks. the nuggets looked like they got the better end of the carmelo anthony deal. they are now 9-2 since the trade. they won it 102-87. finally there are positives
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from the nfl lockout. the work stoppage has given chad ochocinco a chance to follow his childhood dream. he has a four-day tryout with a major league soccer team sporting kc. he played soccer until high school when he gave it up to focus on football. he picked a field goal in the 2009 preseason game. despite the lockout, chad is determined to play some form of football this year. that's your first look at sports. i'm fred roggin. now for another quick look at the weather, here is nbc meteorologist bill karins with the weather channel forecast. luck of the irish there in your forecast. >> i know. what's your threshold for all of a sudden pulling the sandals out? >> i don't -- i live in a tiny new york apartment, i don't have any room to put things away so they have been sitting in my closet. >> they're ready to go, okay. >> i just have to slip them on, bill. so bring it. >> may need them on friday. it will be really nice. let's talk about this morning. it is a little cool.
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but you can feel it in the air. temperatures in the mid-40s and upper 40s to start the day. when it is that warm to start, and if we're going to get full sunshine, it will be a really nice afternoon today. look at this, temperatures in the low to mid-60s in many areas. new england will be in the 50s. that's even good for you. still got some snow melt up there in vermont, new hampshire, up in maine. pittsburgh at 62. ideal weather for all of the festivities out there if you're going to be taking part. now, tomorrow will be even warmer. 70 up to central park. 72 in philadelphia. 76 in d.c. we're talking about -- you can get a tan at with these temperatures. that won't be completely sunny tomorrow. the front will come later in the day, bringing showers to albany, buffalo and pittsburgh. it will be the warmest day by far we have seen in a long time. so today the warmth, all in the middle of the country. enjoy it from kansas to oklahoma, oklahoma city, a chance of 80 today into little rock. for friday, much of the southeast should be in the 80s,
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lynn. i would say three-quarters of the country is going to enjoy this warm end to winter. >> nice, bill, we like it. thank you. the dramatic public trial charlie sheen may be hoping for may be off for good. with a month to go before this generation's fairy tale wedding, proof that the quick commercialization of the event may have moved too fast. your first look at entertainment is straight ahead. [ male announcer ] 100 crisps in every can. ♪ 100 ways to enjoy pringles. ♪ 100 crisps, 100 ways. ♪ everything pops with pringles. ♪ [ male announcer ] unrestrained. unexpected.
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welcome back to "first look." i'm lynn berry. it is time for your first look at entertainment news. jodie foster is back on her one woman campaign to rehabilitate the public image of mel gibson.
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in an interview, foster says of gibson "he's so incredibly loving and sensitive, he's the most loved actor i've ever worked with on a movie. i knew the minute that i met him i would love him the rest of my life." quite an endorsement there. a big blow for charlie sheen's $100 million lawsuit against warner bros. and "two and a half men" co-creator chuck lorre. a private dispute resolution company has decided when it comes to sheen's contract, it has jurisdiction over the dispute. that would mean no sensational public trial which sheen had hoped for. his lawyer says they will challenge the finding. and finally, proof positive that william and kate wedding novelties have gone completely overboard. oops. one company based in china is offering a $16 commemorative cup in honor of the upcoming nuptials. they got one detail wrong. they used harry's picture instead of his brother's. you know. william and harry, it is all --
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>> i think it is a good gag gift for the bachelor party, rub it in. >> yeah. i kind of feel bad for the guy. he's probably just maybe just google imaged and picked the wrong one. poor guy. >> yeah. i'm lynn berry. this is "first look" on msnbc. stay tuned. "way too early with willie geist" starts right now. as japan scrambles to contain the radiation leaks at the fukushima nuclear facility, conflicting reports on the severity of the situation emerge from our two governments. the question, is the u.s. government implying that we shouldn't trust the japanese reports? back at home, 71-year-old senator harry reid says he wants to wait 20 years before addressing social security. the question, how many more terms does harry expect to serve? and president obama visits espn to reveal his ncaa tournament
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